Asparagus Soup with a Poached Egg on Toast

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Oh how the time flies, since we last met at the end of November… Cookie Parties and the holidays have flown by, a new job was started, birthdays celebrated, we’ve moved and Urban Kitchen is still “Urban” technically, yet with a traditional flair… baby Ruszkowski was born, Valentine’s Day celebrated ( we have pictures of our dinner and can post in rewind I suppose), wisdom teeth removed, unpacking done and now it is mid March and we have finally settled down a bit, kinda, and are finally able to bring a gorgeous photo shoot and step by step process of this delicious NEW recipe.  The best thing about this recipe is that it is a warm bowl of SPRING, even on the dreary cold night we had.  Second best thing is the chopping is SO easy since it doesn’t have to be uniform, you are just going to blend it’s goodness up, which makes this a quick soup.  It’s very creamy even though there is no cream in it, just delicious vegetables and stock with a perfect runny egg to give a rich boost ( we also love this asparagus egg combo for breakfast) Ok, enough talk, check it out for yourself, we’ve broken down the process and even added a poaching egg tutorial skip to the bottom to see the full list of ingredients and method.

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Chop your onions and celery, add to a big bowl

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Chop your leeks, add to another bowl and fill with water.  Agitate the leeks and separate them with your fingers and let rest, the dirt/ sand will sink to the bottom and the clean leeks will float along the top, skim the leeks out of the water by hand and shake to remove any drips add to the bowl with onions and celery

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Trim the woody ends off your asparagus, toss.  Trim the tops and reserve to the side.  Chop the remaining stalk of asparagus, keep in a bowl

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Add olive oil and heat you large deep pan over medium heat

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Then add your onion, leek and celery mixture

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Saute slowly over medium heat till softened, about 10  minutes.

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Then add your chopped asparagus, and chicken stock

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Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes

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Use good STOCK, not broth, it has more flavor

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Here goes the Poached Egg Tutorial!  While your soup cooks you have plenty of time to make these- use a small bowl to crack you egg in to- this makes the water drop part much easier and avoids shells

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Have your eggs ready to go, these we had at room temperature for 30 minutes

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using a small sauce pan, fill with 1.5″ water and a splash of vinegar bring the temperature to just about boiling, see those little bubbles forming- that’s perfect

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keep your heat low and steady

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using a slotted wooden spoon, stir the water to make a whirlpool effect

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pour you egg right in the middle, close to the water ( not plopped from high above), and go slowly so the yolk and white don’t separate

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using a small pan allows you to just let it cook without much stirring, after 3-4 minutes check for doneness by scooping it up with your slotted spoon.  The whites should be firm and the yolk should be a deep golden color that is very springy to touch- runny when broken

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place eggs on a paper towel lined plate while you cook the rest, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

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Meanwhile, slice your bread and turn on the broiler or grill pan

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ciabatta bread make perfect toasts for soup

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line up your slices and drizzle with olive oil

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season with salt and pepper

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line up seasoned toasts under the broiler for 5-8 minutes

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they should be golden and perfectly crisp

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after 20 minutes, the soup is ready to blend

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after it is blended smooth, add in those reserved asparagus tips

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Stir them in and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes- till they are tender

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Now you are ready to assemble all components: serve the soup in your bowl topped with a couple toasts and a poached egg, open the yolk up to blend in to the soup before taking your first bite…. enjoy!

Recipe Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1.75 lbs asparagus, woody ends removed
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium white onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
  • 64 ounces organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 8 slices ciabatta bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • extra virgin olive oil

Method

Chop the tips off your asparagus and put these to one side for later. Roughly chop the asparagus stalks. Get a large, deep pan on the heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Gently fry the onions, celery and leeks for around 10 minutes, until soft and sweet, without colouring. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and stock and simmer for 20 minutes with a lid on.

While the soup is cooking, poach your eggs and toast your ciabatta slices.

Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand-held blender or in a liquidizer, add in butter. Season the soup bit by bit (this is important) with salt and pepper until just right. Put the soup back on the heat, stir in the asparagus tips, bring back to the boil and simmer for a few more minutes until the tips have softened.

To serve, divide the soup between eight warmed bowls and place a piece of toast into each. Put a poached egg on top, cut into it to make it runny, season and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

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